Speeding in Highway Work Zone: An Evaluation of Methods of Speed ControlAuthor/Presenter: Ravani, Bahram; Wang, Chao
Highway workers frequently work in close proximity of live traffic in highway work zones, traffic accidents therefore have devastating effects on worker safety. In order to reduce the potential for such accidents, methods involving use of advisory signs and police presence have been used to mitigate accident risks and improve safety for highway workers. This research evaluates the magnitude of the speeding problem in highway work zones and the effects of four levels of police presence on improving work zone safety. Speed data were collected in six different work zone locations in northern and southern California and used to determine the magnitude and nature of speeding problem in highway work zones. In addition data were collected over 11 test-days in four work zones with four levels of police presence: radar speed display with police decal and lighting, passive use of a police vehicle with radar speed display, passive use of a police vehicle without radar speed display, and active police speed enforcement near work zones. This paper analyzes this data using statistical methods to evaluate the effectiveness of these different methods of speed control on the safety of the work zone. Four Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) were used in this evaluation consisting of average speed reduction, speed variance, 85th percentile speed, and proportion of high speed vehicles. The results indicate that all levels of police presence provided statistically significant improvements in one or more of the MOEs.